What do elementary school counselors do
Please select a school
Our school counselor: Ashlee Demastus
My name is Ashlee Demastus and I am very excited to be joining the Barcroft team as a school counselor. I completed my MA in School Counseling from George Washington University and specialized in trauma and crisis management through ASCA training. My background encompasses a wide range of educational and counseling opportunities. I have had the privilege of traveling the world working with school age children in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Haiti. Multicultural counseling has had a major impact on my practice. I'm passionate about enabling a-ha moments, building relationships and turning challenges into opportunities for growth. When I'm not at work, I can read, look after my indoor jungle, hang out with friends and family, practice yoga, and cook. I look forward to the cooperation. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance ([email protected]).
Second step program details
If you would like access to family resources related to the Second Step program, please go to app.secondstep.org to create an account with the appropriate activation key for your student's grade level. Here are some instructions for accessing step two resources:
- Go to https://www.secondstep.org/create-account
- Enter your email address and create a password
- Select "Parent" as the job title.
- Enter your state and city, and select your student's school
- Enter your family activation key under "Product Activation Key".
- Navigate to "My Dashboard".
- Here you can view resources (parenting support material) or streaming lesson media that you can use to access the lesson videos and songs. This way you can also access the homelinks linked below.
Homelinks are extension activities that students and families can do at home to build on what we learned in class during the counseling class. Not every lesson has a home link, and Ms. Purugganan does not have every lesson that has a home link. Please note that you must first set up your own Second Step account to access these links. Instructions can be found at the top of this webpage.
The Zones of Regulation program is used as a universal language at Barcroft to determine how we are feeling and which strategies are most helpful to us with those feelings. There are four zones. Each zone reflects how someone feels and how much energy they have (e.g. too low, too high). While none of the zones are 'good' or 'bad', students are best available to study when they are in the green zone. In the first counseling session of the school year, students learn to identify the face and body cues associated with the zone and talked about how peers and teachers might feel / react when they see someone in each zone. Older students generate a "toolbox" of strategies that they can use when they are in the blue, yellow, or red zone in order to return to the green zone and be available for study. Please consider using Zones vocabulary at home and ask your child what strategies they can use to increase their energy, decrease their energy, and calm down when they are upset.
Listening skills, area of attention, self-talk
In our learning competence, kindergarten and 1st grade get to know our listening skills. Ask your student to show you the hand signals for the following listening skills:
- Looking eyes (point to your eyes)
- Hearing ears (cup your ears)
- Voices low (put a finger to your closed lips)
- Body still (give yourself a gentle hug)
We also get to know the super powerful Attent-o-Scope! Our Attent-o-Scopes are activated when we have focused our attention and are using all of our listening skills. There's a particularly neat hand signal for the Attent-o-Scope (you pretend to hold binoculars in front of your eyes).
We also learn how to use self-talk to remind ourselves to stay at work. When using self-talk, we use a whisper or a silent reminder to focus, not be distracted, or use the Attent-o-Scope.
First graders get to know three different forms of communication. When we speak passively or aggressively, we are not as clear or direct as we need to be. Instead, it is best to use a calm, respectful, and strong voice in order to be assertive.
In grades 2 and 3 we learn about three important parts of our brain: our amygdala (which helps us to react quickly in situations), our hippocampus (which helps us to remember things) and our prefrontal cortex (the helps us make strong decisions). . We also learn mindfulness practices to help focus our minds.
Set goals and make plans
4th and 5th grade students learn to set short and long term goals and make plans to achieve them. Using the Good Plans Checklist, we review our plans to see if:
- The plan corresponds to the goal
- There is enough time to implement the plan
- It's not too complicated
- It is attainable
In our Bullying Prevention Department, Barcroft students learn how to identify, report, and reject bullying. We also learn how to be an upstander.
Bullying hurts a person's body, feelings or belongings. it's done on purpose; it's unfair or one-sided; it happens more than once; and we can't stop it.
If we detect bullying, we need to report it to a caring and trustworthy adult. When reporting bullying, we try to use an assertive voice that is clear, serious, and respectful. Our Bullying Prevention Department asks all students to identify caring and trustworthy adults in the Barcroft community to report bullying to.
Both upstander and anyone who has experienced bullying can opt out of bullying by telling the bully or bully to stop using an assertive voice.
Barcroft's 3rd through 5th grade students commit to moving up each year. Newcomers take responsibility for preventing and stopping bullying in their community. When they realize that there is an unsafe or unfriendly situation, they can support the person experiencing the unsafe or unfriendly behavior by reporting it to an adult, rejecting the bullying, and reviewing the victim. Newcomers understand that we all have a responsibility to make Barcroft a safe and welcoming community for everyone.
Child Protection Department
The child protection department includes one class lesson in kindergarten through 5th grade. Barcroft students learn how to decide whether or not something is safe: specifically, safe, unsafe and unwanted touch, and rules for touching private parts of the body (we define this for students as the area covered by swimsuits). You will also learn to say no to unsafe or unwanted touch and to tell an adult if someone breaks rules about touching private parts of the body. Students also practice asking an adult for help, telling an adult about an unsafe situation, and being confident about how to get out of unsafe situations.
What does an elementary school counselor do?
An elementary school counselor provides services to all students to improve academic success, support social / emotional development, and promote career and college readiness. Parents / legal guardians must notify the school in writing if they wish to exclude their children from personal / social classes. Regular advisory tasks include:
- Lessons for all students
- Advice to students individually
- Run programs with small groups
- Support of school transitions
- Providing information to parents on internal and external programs
- Consultation with teachers, parents and community members
- Carrying out needs analyzes to provide information to the advisory services
- Providing references to external programs and services
When should I contact the school advisor?
If you have any concerns about your child's academics or their social / emotional state, you can call or email the school counselor. You can also contact the advisor to discuss any of the issues listed above. For reasons of confidentiality, detailed or sensitive discussions are best conducted over the phone or in person.
To learn more about the consultant and advisory services at Barcroft, please use the menu on the left.
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